Sharon Blackie

What Ails Thee? Myth, Fairy Tales and the Post-heroic Journey


Event Details

  • Date:
  • Venue: Commonweal (Main Building)
    451 Mesa Road, Bolinas, California, 94924, United States
  • Venue: Commonweal (Main Building)
  • Cost: $125; scholarships available

The guiding mythology of western culture is not only intensely heroic and individualistic in nature, it is also profoundly goal-oriented. What might a post-heroic mythology look like instead? What stories would we tell if we thought that living a good and meaningful life had nothing to do with finding treasure, defeating our enemies, or living happily ever after, but was about learning to live more deeply, day by day, in a challenged and constantly challenging world? What stories might we find which offer us a richer set of values to live by? Which show us that being and becoming are just as important as achieving and doing?

In this workshop, we’ll explore the rich folkloric inheritance of the West: those ancient myths and fairy tales which remind us that, tucked up safe in the rambling, roundabout lines between once upon a time and happily ever after, lie all the secrets for a meaningful, sustainable life. These are the stories which teach us how to negotiate with the wild that is both outside and inside of us, and which show us what it might be like to inhabit a world in which humans are fully enmeshed. In this world, animals always have something to teach us, trees and plants can save or cure us, and wise old men and women are waiting in the woods to help us.

From the ‘question that must be asked’ in the beautiful and mysterious old romances of the Grail quest, to the soulful initiations offered by Baba Yaga in her house with chicken feet – we’ll rediscover the trail of breadcrumbs which these old stories have laid to help us find our way home through the dark and desolate forests of contemporary life.

Fri 9/13 Evening with Sharon Blackie: Transforming Stories: The Fine Art of Shapeshifting

Scholarships Available: Please fill out our scholarship form.

Cancellations: No refunds for cancellations made 7 days or less before the event date. Prior to 7 days before an event, there is a $15 processing fee per ticket for cancellations.

Dr. Sharon Blackie

Sharon is an award-winning writer whose work sits at the interface of psychology, mythology and ecology. Her highly acclaimed books, articles, online courses and residential retreats are focused on the development of the mythic imagination, and on the relevance of our native myths, fairy tales and folk traditions to the personal, social and environmental problems we face today. Sharon is the author of the word-of-mouth bestseller If Women Rose Rooted: The Journey to Authenticity and Belonging, which offers up a new Heroine’s Journey for this age of social and ecological crisis. Her latest nonfiction book, The Enchanted Life, focuses on the mythic imagination as a bridge to a vivid sense of belongingness to a rich and many-layered world. She is also the author of the novel The Long Delirious Burning Blue, and of Foxfire, Wolfskin, a collection of original fairy tales about shapeshifting women which will be published in 2019.

Geography of Hope

In 2019, Geography of Hope is expanding from a one-weekend event to a year-long series of gatherings, pilgrimages, film screenings, conversations and art exhibits that explore the theme of “The Sacred in the Land.”

More Upcoming Offerings

Sep 5

This Sacred Land: Images & Words from Point Reyes Art Show with Todd Pickering & Point Reyes Community Members

Sep 8

Standing on Sacred Ground: Fire & Ice Toby McLeod & Corrina Gould

Sep 13

An Evening with Sharon Blackie Transforming Stories: The Fine Art of Shapeshifting

Sep 14

Full Moon Fire Circle at Commonweal Garden in Bolinas

Sep 29

Sacred in the Land: Seasonal Pilgrimages Kate Bunney and Walking Water Team

Oct 13

Full Moon Fire Circle at Commonweal Garden in Bolinas

Oct 25

Acorns to Oaks: Weekend Retreat for Young Leaders Katia Sol & Christopher Kuntzsch

Oct 27

Pilgrimage as a Path of Peacemaking Kayleen Asbo with Catherine Braslavsky

Nov 15

Natural Rhythms Concert Terry Garthwaite, Becky Reardon & Elise Witt

Nov 16

Standing on Sacred Ground: Islands of Sanctuary Toby McLeod & Kailea Frederick

Dec 15

Sacred in the Land: Seasonal Pilgrimages Kate Bunney and Walking Water Team